who is that masked “merton”?

okay, let’s put an and to this ridiculous debate.

there is a feud raging across the internet about whether the original “funny chatroulette piano” video is ben folds.  i’ve taken some heat on digg for suggesting that, um, yeah, it is.  so, let’s — just for the sake of argument — pretend that we don’t already know the answer and look at the facts.  and by look, i mean that literally; here’s screengrabs from the original video and from the live “ode to merton” performance in charlotte, NC, which we all assume to be ben folds by default (because he’s playing in front of a live audience and presumably someone could cross-reference dates to confirm he was actually at the venue on the day he was supposed to have been).  i’ve seen people say things like “ben folds is a better piano player than this guy” and even “i’m a longtime fan of ben folds and this isn’t him…i can tell by his speaking voice.”  funny.  i can tell by his speaking voice that it is ben folds.

what, are you people blind, deaf and stupid?

first, the first “funny piano improv”…

next the second “funny piano improv”…

okay, got it?  burned those images into your head?  now, for my  next trick, the live video:

if anyone still tries to tell me these are are different people i will scream.  i mean come on.  just because the youtube page says “this is not ben folds, ben folds is a better piano player” doesn’t mean it’s actually not ben folds.